We think Ryan Bertrand is worth strong consideration as one of your defensive five this season and we're going to tell you why.
Towards the end of last season, Southampton favoured a 4-2-3-1 with a traditional back four with Bertrand playing on the left side of defence.
Bertrand appeared in 28 games totaling 2508 minutes of PL pitch time only missing games due to injury. During the season he produced 2 goals, 5 assists, created 27 chances and scored 9 bonus points - strong attacking statistics for a defender playing in a flat back four. Bertrand received 3 yellow cards during the season and no red cards.
Only yesterday, Southampton fired manager Claude Puel with one of the reasons behind his dismissal being the perceived negative style of football. Under his "brand" of football the team only scored 41 Premier League goals all season. Only 5 teams scored less goal, with all of these teams finishing in the bottom 5 of the table.
Its not a stretch to reason that due to the circumstances of Puel's dismissal, Southampton will recruit a manager with a far more attacking minded ethos. This could potentially lead to the new manager following the current Premier League formation trend of deploying wingbacks. Should this happen he would be utilised in a far more advanced role. As displayed in his recent performances for England he has the attacking impetus to get forward from the wingback position and deliver dangerous crosses into the box.
When you factor in his impressive 2016/2017 attacking exploits with the high potential of a more advanced role this season, he becomes a very attractive proposition especially when you consider Southampton have Europa league distractions this season.
His likely starting value of 5.5M- to 6.0M may put off some potential suitors , but we think he has high potential to be good value for money in this season's market.
Image courtesy of flickr/@timparkinson